Challenges Faced by Teenagers with CP
Children with cerebral palsy who are approaching their teenage years face the same challenges that any other teenager does, but the challenges are sometimes magnified due to their condition.
Normally, our teenage years are those years when we learn who we are, when we make our first significant friends and when we start asserting our independence. Cerebral palsy symptoms in teenagers can make all of these things much more difficult than they are for other teens.
Socializing is one of the most important parts of growing up. When we are teenagers, the opportunity to get to know other people of the same age (to figure out what types of people we like spending our time with) and the effect that has on defining ourselves as people are significant parts of achieving maturity.
For people with cerebral palsy, mobility issues oftentimes make it extremely difficult for them to get out and about. This means that socialization opportunities are diminished and that it may be more difficult for somebody with CP to forge those meaningful friendships and to have the experiences that come with them, both good and bad.
Many people with cerebral palsy do suffer some degree of mental impairment. This may be a mental impairment that affects their ability to learn in every way or they may just have difficulty with a particular activity related to learning, such as speaking or muscle control. Problems with hearing and vision are also common with people who have cerebral palsy.
In order to achieve a high school diploma or a college education, people with CP oftentimes have to work much harder than the average individual. While this can result in an incredibly disciplined and dedicated student, it can also result in a lot of personal difficulties for the person with CP.
There are many nonprofit organizations out there that offer information and some degree of support for people with CP and their families. People with CP also benefit from the fact that the general attitude toward people who have disabilities has improved remarkably over past decades. People with cerebral palsy will encounter people who treat them unfairly now and then but, by and large, most people are inclined to treat CP sufferers as the human beings they are.
Teenagers with cerebral palsy do face unique challenges, but most manage just fine!